Frankfurt

"Don’t mention the war you know what you’re like". I was warned, the war is verbatim it’s not cricket, well it wasn’t me or even Basil Fawlty, it was my taxi driver.

 

“Frankfurt is the same size as London and the financial centre of mainland Europe” he explained in that punctilious emphatic way that German’s sound when they speak English. “It was destroyed by the British in the second world war, but has been rebuilt with striking modern buildings and faithful reconstructions in the old town of Altstadt ” Being a Brit at this point I began to feel personally responsible for all the bombing and carnage and decided to change the subject.

Frankfurt is known as the world’s smallest metropolis, however it is much more friendly to cyclists rather than a Batmobile, an exhibit you’re unlikely to find in any of the sixty museums located in the city, something they are particularly proud of, indeed in the month of April the city holds the “Long Night of the Museums” when all the museums are open all night with music and dance performances and special exhibits.

 

Frankfurt knows how to put on a fair, it has two, each October sees the book fair take place  and it has a car show in September only in odd-numbered years. These events attract millions of visitors, so unless your wish to visit these fairs it would be a good idea to visit at a different time.

 

The city is home to much medieval architecture including the Cathedral that dates back to 852.The city square in Frankfurt is where the Holy Roman Emperors were crowned, and it’s surrounded by palatial buildings all dating back many centuries. Most were destroyed during World War II, but they have all been rebuilt and restored as my taxi driver testified.

In the city square in Frankfurt you will find a balcony where the emperors appeared to the people, today it’s where victorious football teams are hailed, that would be the local Eintracht Frankfurt team, not as well-known or as successful as FC Bayern Munich.

 

After a visit to the Roman ruins at the Archaeological Gardens why not dine on the Fressgass or “munching alley” as it’s known locally, there are lots of cafes restaurants and delis to choose from, why not treat yourself and dine at the legendary establishment that is Adolph Wagner, the apple wine and sauce made from seven different herbs are to die for.

Access to the sites, for example, the Opera House and City Tower are just as easy to get to on foot or by bike, additionally, the city has a great public transport system so a visit to the Zoo or Botanical Gardens is made easy.

In the old town of  Altstadt is an exact copy of the former mediaeval buildings at Romemberg Plaza, nearby is the Kleinmarkhalle an indoor market frequented by locals, it sells a vast array of fresh produce, including the seven herbs used to make the regional sauce.

 

A great way to see any city is from the river the  "Primus Linie" takes you past the embankments of the river Main and the newly built European Central bank to the historic Gerbermühle where the ship turns for its journey back to the Eiserner Steg where you can take and relax while your Velo-Taxi  takes you to the Museum Embankment.